Saturday, 16 October 2021

Strategy Envisages €7.5 Billion of Investments in Agriculture in Next 10 Years

ZAGREB, 16 Oct, 2021 - Agriculture and the energy industry are the two main sectors enabling each society and state to function normally, and therefore in the next decade, €7.5 billion will be invested in the agricultural sector, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said in Zagreb on Saturday.

Addressing an Agriculture Ministry event dedicated to promoting farming, fisheries and forestry, the Prime Minister said that his cabinet spared no effort to help agricultural producers, the food and timber industries and the fisheries.

The government has sent to the parliament a draft strategy on agriculture, and the document, which should be adopted this year, envisages investments in agriculture of some €7.5 billion in the next decade, which should help the Croatian agricultural sector to reach the target of HRK 30 billion (€4 billion) of annual production.

During the term of this government, over a score of state aid schemes have been designed and mostly implemented, and their value is estimated at €253 million, provided from the state budget, Plenković said, recalling prompt interventions to address market disruptions caused by the coronavirus crisis and natural disasters.

In the livestock sector, nine measures and schemes are being implemented in response to problems caused by the COVID-19 crisis, and HRK 450 million has been made available as part of the government's aid schemes, he said, adding that an HRK 163.5 million scheme is in the pipeline to help businesses affected by fodder price rises.

From 2016 to 2019, state grants amounted to HRK 11.1 billion, and in 2020, HRK 3.2 billion was disbursed as state aid, the PM said.

The Rural Development Programme has made HRK 22.8 billion available to beneficiaries, and of that amount 18 billion has been contracted, and 13.8 billion has been disbursed for investments in agriculture, the PM told the event.

The fisheries branch has been provided with HRK 2.3 billion in grants within the Operational Programme for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, and to date more than 1.2 billion has been disbursed.

Plenković went on to say that the government has increased outlays for investments in food safety and the National Recovery and Resilience Plan envisages the provision of infrastructure for a food bank and for participants in the food donation chain. This is one of the important reforms, worth HRK 32 million, he said.

Agriculture Minister Marija Vučković said that the aim of the strategy would be to increase the output in the agricultural sector to HRK 30 billion annually until 2030.

The implementation of the strategy will require €7.5 billion, and the government plans allocations for this purpose in the amount of five billion euros until 2027 through the multiannual financial framework, the National Recovery and Resilience Plan and the state budget, she explained.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

For more on business, follow TCN's dedicated page. 

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, 25 September 2021

Croatia Participating in ‘One With Nature’ Exhibition in Budapest

ZAGREB, 25 Sept, 2021 - Croatia is participating in the world's biggest hunting and nature exhibition, "One with Nature", which opened in Budapest on Saturday, featuring Croatian Forests, the Chamber of Commerce, the National Tourist Board and the Croatian Hunting Association, the Agriculture Ministry said.

Croatia's presentation focuses on its nature, the diversity of its wildlife habitats, its forestry, founded on over 250 years of expert management, biodiversity, as well as on 140 years of organised hunting.

"One with Nature" closes on 14 October.

After attending the opening, Croatian Agriculture Minister Marija Vučković met with her Hungarian counterpart Istvan Nagy to discuss cooperation, assistance in cattle breeding, and the EU Forest Strategy.

Vučković said Croatia was for the principle of subsidiarity and for reducing administrative burdens, the ministry said.

She underlined the importance of identifying forestry's multifunctional role, keeping in mind forests' contribution to the life of rural communities and their impact on rural economies.

Sustainable forest management must be the focal point of the EU strategy, she said.

Croatia and Hungary have excellent cooperation in many areas such as the Višegrad Group and the Danube Soya initiative as well as in cattle breeding, veterinary medicine and food safety, the ministry said.

The two ministers also talked about possible cooperation in freshwater aquaculture and forest reproductive material.

Croatia's agricultural and food exports to Hungary rose by €6.2 million (+5%) last year, while imports dropped by €9.4 million (-3%).

At the opening of the exhibition, Vučković also met with Vietnamese Ambassador to Croatia Nguyn Thi Bich Thao.

For more on lifestyle, follow TCN's dedicated page.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Agriculture Minister Marija Vučković: Primary tobacco production has a future in Croatia

ZAGREB, 21 Sept, 2021 - Despite the big risks in the sector - shortage of labour force, age structure and health - primary tobacco production has a future in Croatia, Agriculture Minister Marija Vučković said on Tuesday at the 21st Tobacco Fields Day, held near Virovitica.

Minister Vučković said that tobacco production is valuable and that in Croatia it has its organisers, relatively secure purchase, the possibility of processing and a closed cycle to the production of almost finished products, which any country would support.

Besides income support, we will endeavour to support all investment initiatives through the rural development programme, said Vučković. She added that the government and ministry advocate retaining support at all levels in the European Union, specifying that an envelope valued at HRK 42 million is envisaged for the tobacco sector, the same as last year.

The Hrvatski Duhani company, which organised Tobacco Fields Day, has 360 producers in Podravina and Slavonia who cultivate 2,700 hectares of tobacco land.

The total annual value of buying tobacco amounts to about HRK 90 million and tobacco is one of the rare agricultural cultures with which Croatia has high competitiveness and a significant production at the EU level, given that Croatia produces about 5% of the EU's total tobacco production.

President of the management board at Hrvatski Duhani Imad Ud-Din Muhammad said that the company was one of the first to introduce sustainability in agriculture in Croatia, which has now been strengthened at the BAT Group level.

We are additionally strengthening investments in environmental protection, health and safety within the entire supply chain, he underscored.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Agriculture Minister Marija Vučković: Mandarin is Important For Croatian Fruit Farming

ZAGREB, 21 Sept, 2021 - Agriculture Minister Marija Vučković has called on fruit and vegetable producers in the Neretva river valley of southern Croatia to form an association in order to increase their competitiveness and presence on the market, her ministry said in a press release on Tuesday.

Vučković met with fruit and vegetable purchasers in the Neretva valley on Monday to discuss wholesale purchases of mandarin oranges this year. The main topic discussed was compliance with the law prohibiting unfair trading practices in the food supply chain.

Producers and purchasers were called upon to agree details of their business relationship to make this business sustainable and ensure that neither party feels deprived of any of their rights.

Vučković noted that the mandarin is very important for the Croatian fruit-growing industry and that its entire production takes place in a relatively small part of the Neretva valley. She said that in the last two years the government had set aside HRK 26 million for mandarin growers alone.

Citing figures from the Croatian Bureau of Statistics, the ministry said that 45,245 tonnes of mandarins had been produced in 2010-2020 in the area covering 1,984 hectares, with an average annual yield of 23 t/ha. Last year alone, 24.5 million kilograms of mandarin, worth €11.6 million, was exported, while 5.4 million kilograms, worth €4.3 million, was imported.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Croatian Agriculture Minister, Chinese Ambassador Discuss Pork Exports to China

ZAGREB, 14 Sept, 2021 - Croatian Agriculture Minister Marija Vučković has held an online meeting with Chinese Ambassador Xu Erwen to discuss ways of speeding up the procedure to obtain veterinary certificates and possibilities for pork exports to China, the Agriculture Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

The agricultural cooperation with China has intensified since 2006, and thanks to the China+17 initiative and the efforts by the Agriculture Ministry, the protocol on veterinary and public health requirements for dairy products intended for export from Croatia to China was signed in 2019, removing the obstacles to the sale of Croatian dairy products on the Chinese market.

Vučković mentioned Croatian requests towards the Chinese competent authority (GACC) regarding veterinary certificates for pork and pork products, fresh and frozen tuna, honey, beef and poultry, notably the export of tuna, pork and pork products from Croatia to China.

The Croatian ministry is in close communication with the GACC and Croatia is a step closer to getting a positive assessment as a country allowed to export pork and pork products to China, the statement said.

In 2020 the GACC was notified that the World Organisation for Animal Health had recognised Croatia as a country officially free of classic swine fever.

Between 2011 and 2020, with Croatia's entry into the European Union, Croatian agricultural and food exports to China increased ninefold, while at the same time imports from China decreased by more than double. In 2020 alone, the value of agricultural and food exports to China increased by 52% compared with 2019, to nearly €7 million.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

Marija Vučković Takes Part in Informal Meeting of EU Agriculture Ministers

ZAGREB, 7 Sept, 2021 - The agriculture strategy envisions further investment in public services in rural areas, with an emphasis on digitisation, irrigation, renewable energy production and increasing energy efficiency, Agriculture Minister Marija Vučković said at an informal meeting of EU ministers.

In order to succeed in that, it is essential to continue investing in human capital, the minister stressed.

Minister Vučković was taking part in an informal meeting of the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council, which was held in Kranj, Slovenia on Monday and Tuesday. The Agriculture Ministry reported on Tuesday that the central topic of the meeting was strengthening dialogue between urban and rural areas in the EU, with an emphasis on possibilities for their further development.

The long-term vision for the EU's rural areas up to 2040 aims to reverse negative trends affecting rural areas, including depopulation, population ageing and the decline in attractiveness of rural areas as places to live. The vision brings together several policies that go beyond the common agricultural policy (CAP) and require a more integrated and coordinated approach at the EU, national and regional level, the press release says.

In order for the process aimed at strengthening rural areas to succeed, it is necessary to continue investing in human resources, Minister Vučković stressed.

We have to provide funds for investments and help young people to realise their business goals in rural areas and respond to challenges by creating added value, she said.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

 

Saturday, 4 September 2021

Vegefino’s Tofu Omelette Declared Most Innovative Vegan Product at ZeGeVege

ZAGREB, 4 Sept, 2021 - Agriculture Minister Marija Vučković, who on Saturday visited the 13th edition of the ZeGeVege festival of sustainable living, presented an award to the Vegefino company for the most innovative vegan product: tofu omelette.

The director of the company, Tino Pažur, who received the award, said that they had taken over this vegan brand last year.

The company plans to expand its business in Croatia as well as to neighbouring countries, he said adding that their products are in rising demand.

The minister also conferred awards on the family-run farm "OPG Diana Prpić" and the m-creations company.

The two-day ZeGeVege Festival of Sustainable Living opened in Zagreb's main square Trg Bana Jelačića on Friday, featuring health food, plant-based cosmetics and nine restaurants offering vegetarian food.

Eighty exhibitors are offering products made solely from plants, including traditional Croatian dishes, vegetable soups, sausages, spreads and vegan sweets.

The festival is organised for the 13th time by the Friends of Animals association, after last year's break due to the coronavirus pandemic.

For more on lifestyle, follow TCN's dedicated page.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Thursday, 19 August 2021

"Proven Quality - Croatia" Label Soon to be Introduced for Local Food Products

ZAGREB, 19 Aug, 2021 - The agriculture ministry strongly supports fruit growers in efforts to cut production costs and standardise their products and thus boost their competitiveness, which is why the ministry will soon kick off a system of awarding the "Proven Quality - Croatia" label, the ministry said on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Minister Marija Vučković and other officials held a meeting with fruit growers  to inform them of the national system designed by the ministry for awarding the above-mentioned label to food products that meet certain requirements. The national system of evaluation of the quality of food products intends to improve competitiveness of local agricultural produce and food products and intensify their promotion.

This will be conducive to better recognisability of those products in retail chains, according to the ministry.

The ministry notes that the reforms as part of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan envisage the establishment of a logistical infrastructure in fruit and vegetable production and the construction of logistics and distribution centres for fruits and vegetables.

The Croatian Fruit Growing Association assesses that in 2021, the production of apples will reach 65,000 tonnes, the ministry said in a press release, among other things.

The apple export has jumped by 71% year-to-date in comparison to the corresponding period of 2020, while import has increased by 3..2%.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 29 June 2021

Croatia Satisfied With CAP Reform, Says Agriculture Minister

ZAGREB, 29 June, 2021 - Croatia can be satisfied with the agreement on key issues from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform package because it takes into account its most important demands, Agriculture Minister Marija Vučković said in Luxembourg on Tuesday.

At a two-day meeting in Luxembourg, EU agriculture and fisheries ministers on Monday confirmed the agreement on the reform of the CAP, reached with the European Parliament last week.

Vučković said Croatia was glad its most important demands had been taken into account, concerning the treatment of areas with natural constraints, animal welfare and certain exemptions and flexibility regarding small farmers.

The new CAP rules, to be in force from 2023 to the end of 2027, oblige member states to respect the social and labour rights of agricultural workers, encourage farmers to apply greener farming practices, envisage incentives for smaller farms and young farmers and advocate making financial support to farms more conditional on their results and performance.

Now that political agreement has been reached on the new CAP, the path is clear for both legislative institutions, the Council and the Parliament, to formally vote the new rules in.

The ministers also reached agreement on a control regulation that refers to fisheries.

Vučković said that monitoring and control in the fisheries sector were very important and that Croatia had made significant progress in recent years, notably regarding the application of innovations and new technologies in control and monitoring.

She commended the Croatian fisheries sector for undergoing a very important and difficult transformation, underlining the need to preserve the country's fishing resources, fishing fleet, small fishermen and their traditional way of life.

Vučković also called at the Luxembourg meeting for the continuation of support to wine makers, beekeepers and fruit and vegetable farmers.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 25 June 2021

Vučković: Agriculture Investments Needed In To Catch Up To Developed Countries

June 25th, 2021 - Croatia does not have the right to ignore the fact that its farms are old, that someone has to stay living there, and that it requires agriculture investments to catch up to developed countries, Agriculture Minister Marija Vučković said at a regional workshop on Friday.

This was the first regional workshop on the "Strategic Plan for the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) 2023-2028," intended for local and regional government representatives and experts.

Vučković said that interested beneficiaries could be informed of the challenges of the future CAP and the basic elements of the future national strategic plan.

She recalled that the agriculture strategy to 2030 had been completed, as has a study on the strategy's impact on the environment. The strategy has four objectives - increasing the productivity of agricultural production and its resilience to climate change, strengthening the competitiveness of the agriculture-food sector, reviving rural areas, and stimulating innovations.

On the other hand, the National Strategy Plan is being prepared according to future EU regulations and incorporates matters that the strategy doesn't.

"We are opening important and challenging issues related to the financial allocation, about certain definitions that didn't exist before, for example, what is a real or active farmer... The challenges ahead also mean satisfying climate and ecological ambitions concerning investment in new technology," said Vučković. 

Commenting on the challenges in agriculture in the coming period, Vučković underscored that each country in the EU has its specificities.

" Agriculture, in fact, is that activity that has to equally consider all three pillars of sustainability - economic, social, and green sustainability," she said, adding that the agriculture policy wishes to contribute to maintaining Croatia's beauty, biodiversity and to reduce the negative impacts of climate change.

She underscored that the rural development program definitely brings structural changes to Croatia's agriculture.

She announced that amendments to the Farmland Act would be prepared soon.

For more news, follow TCN's dedicated page

Page 1 of 2

Search